Autumn is a beautiful season of transformation marked by changing leaves and bountiful harvests. Unfortunately, skin often suffers with the changing weather, so proper protection is especially important during the fall and winter months. The skin is the body's largest organ, protecting us from harmful microbes and injury. Even subtle seasonal changes can dry out the skin and trigger flare-ups of conditions like rosacea, eczema and acne. These and other conditions can cause considerable embarrassment and affect a person's self-confidence. Here we discuss several common skin issues and how to address them for more beautiful, healthy skin.
As heat and humidity drop with changing weather, itchy, dry skin on the face and body are common. Over-the-counter creams and moisturizers may soothe dry skin temporarily, but they do little or nothing to address conditions like rosacea and atopic dermatitis, which require more powerful treatments. Individuals with conditions like these in addition to dry skin often end up unknowingly applying dozens of chemicals to their skin from using multiple products, which can further irritate the skin. Choosing a product specially formulated to address multiple skin issues is often the best choice. Consult a dermatologist or physician for the most suitable products.
Many acne sufferers experience flare-ups during changing weather. Washing every morning with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or another anti-inflammatory agent can help relieve acne bumps. Avoid over washing, however, as this can leave delicate skin raw and susceptible to bacteria, which can worsen the problem. It is imperative that acne sufferers choose products carefullyâ€”especially when considering over-the-counter productsâ€”and consult their dermatologist before using products that could further irritate the skin.
- Chapped lips
Lip balm is a straightforward choice to address chapped lips. Apply lip balm liberally before going out into cold weather, and use a non-petroleum based product, as petroleum products can actually dry out lips even more. An ideal choice is a balm made with natural ingredients like beeswax as well as a sun protectant to protect lips from sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Fluctuations in temperature and humidity often trigger rosacea, a condition characterized by red skin and inflammatory lesions on the cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. Look for products that contain an anti-inflammatory agent as a primary ingredient. Dry, patchy skin is common with rosacea, as the condition disrupts the skin barrier function. A potent moisturizer is important to help combat dryness associated with the condition. Despite lower light levels in some regions, the sun's rays are still a concern in fall and winter and are known to exacerbate rosacea; a non-irritating sunscreen is highly recommended while outdoors.
Hyperpigmentation is the medical term to describe the darkening of an area of the skin as a result of sun damage. Applying sunscreen daily can help prevent hyperpigmentation, and bronzers, foundations and cosmetic concealers can help mask existing spots. Products containing an anti-inflammatory agent are ideal for reducing discoloration caused by hyperpigmentation.
Autumn may signify changes in the natural environment, but it doesn't have to mean negative changes to your skin. Choose products wisely and consult with a dermatologist for skin conditions that require special attention and treatment. It's never too late to begin caring for your skin.
Frank J. Massino is the CEO & founder of a skincare company focusing on rosacea treatment.